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Living Room Declutter: How To Keep Your Family Room Clutter Free

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The living room can be one of the most cluttered rooms in the whole house. It can be difficult to keep it tidy with all of the toys, gadgets, and random items that tend to accumulate there. After all, this is one of the places you spend together most as a family!

That’s why a living room declutter is essential for making this an enjoyable space to spend time in.

So in this ultimate guide, I’m going to help you tackle that cluttered mess and make your living spaces welcoming again!

Living room declutter

Living Room Declutter: Why This Room Can Be Tricky

It’s important to have a clutter-free living room, especially if you want to relax in it after a long day of work or school.

Unlike most spaces in the home, the living room is a high-traffic area that can either be really quick and easy to declutter, since it is mostly just a space to come together to watch television or do family activities.

For others, the living room isn’t quite so clearly defined, with it serving many other purposes as well, such as a playroom, a combined family room and dining room, a home office, or a craft room all incorporated into your living space.

In these cases, the living room can become quite cluttered very quickly!

You may also have more than one living space in your home that could be considered a ‘living room’, ‘lounge room’ or ‘family room’, each needing its own decluttering session.

How To Declutter Your Living Room

Tidy living room with teddy

Thankfully, my system for decluttering any space in the home is going to work just as effectively for your living room clutter as it does for any other room!

1. Create A Clear Vision For Your Space

Before you even kick off your living room declutter, it’s essential to know what you want for this space!

Do you want a living room that is:

  • Relaxing and comfortable?
  • Perfect for entertaining guests?
  • Calm and clutter-free?
  • Functional and family-friendly?
  • Stylish and Pinterest-worthy?

Or do you need your living room to serve more than one purpose, with your space incorporating both your media room and another living area, such as the dining room or a corner home office?

Your living room’s purpose will determine the simple steps you need to take during your decluttering.

It will also help you have a clear vision of what should stay and what should go in order to achieve your perfect living area.

2. Clear The Surface Clutter

Woman disgusted by mess in living room

The first step in decluttering any living room is to remove anything clearly visible that doesn’t belong there. This means putting away all toys, games, and other items that are meant for other rooms in the house.

If you have a living room that doubles as a playroom or family room, this may mean finding creative storage solutions for these items so that they can be easily accessed when needed but out of sight when they’re not in use, but we will cover that in a later step.

For now, focus on removing anything from this room that simply does not belong. Clothing and accessories, books, rubbish, and other items that don’t fit in with the living room’s purpose should all be removed.

3. Sort Your Living Room Into Zones

Now that you’ve removed the obvious stuff from the space, it’s time to plan your decluttering session. Sort your living room into different zones.

These are essentially smaller sections of your living room that you will declutter one by one. The larger your living room, the more zones you may have.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • TV and entertainment unit
  • Seating area
  • Coffee table or ottoman
  • Bookshelves or storage units
  • Toyboxes or game shelves

By sorting the room into zones, it is much less overwhelming to declutter your room, seeing it as multiple small decluttering tasks rather than one enormous one.

How to declutter any space

4. Have A Plan For Your clutter

What will you do with your unwanted clutter?

Before you start decluttering your living room zones, it’s essential to have a plan for what you’re going to do with all the stuff you no longer want or need.

There are four main options for dealing with any clutter:

  • Keep it
  • Sell it
  • Donate it
  • Trash it

Of course, the items you choose to keep are fairly straightforward. Those will be put back into your space in an organised manner.

For the rest, any high-value and good-quality items might be worth money, especially if you have unwanted tech and media. You may like to sell them if is worth your time and effort.

For anything else, if it is damaged or not worth anything to anyone, throw it out. If it is still in good condition but not worth listing for sale, consider donating it to your local thrift store or a charity organisation.

If you still have old VHS tapes and no VHS player, there’s no point keeping them unless they are family videos that you can get converted to DVD. Got VHS players you haven’t used in a decade? It’s time to let it go!

Grab boxes, a trash bag or washing baskets to sort your different piles of clutter.

5. Start Decluttering The Living Room Zones

Woman tidying messy living room

Now for the fun part – it’s time to declutter your living room!

Start with one zone at a time and work through each item in that space, deciding whether to keep, sell, donate or trash it.

As you go, be ruthless. If you haven’t used something in the last year, chances are you’re never going to use it.

And if something is damaged or no longer works and isn’t worth the cost to repair it – just get rid of it. The living room is not the place for storing items that have no other home (and neither is the garage).

When it comes to ornamental items, keep only what you actually love and keep decorative items to a minimum if you feel they are contributing to the cluttered feel of your space.

6. Consider Your Storage Space

As you work your way through the different zones, consider what storage systems you have in place currently and if they are working.

A living room can quickly become cluttered if there is nowhere to store things away when they’re not in use. Perhaps you can add some baskets to store items like throws, cushions, and toys when they aren’t in use?

Think about what storage solutions will work best for the items you are keeping in your living room and if they complement your vision for this room.

For families whose family room doubles as a play area for kids, open shelves can be a great option for toy storage, such as an Ikea Kallax unit with cube storage. This makes it easy to store children’s toys and board games out of sight within the tubs. They are easy for kids to access but with a dedicated space that young children can use.

If you find yourself with a lot of magazines and catalogues during your decluttering process, perhaps you need to invest in a magazine rack to keep them contained and organised. Don’t use this as an excuse to keep old magazines though!

If your current storage systems are still overloaded, perhaps you need to be a little more ruthless in your decluttering efforts.

Keeping Your Living Room Clutter Free

You’ve done it! Your living room is now clutter-free and looking fabulous. Well done… but now what?

Living room with basket for storing cushions

How do you keep it that way? Here are some simple tips for keeping your living room organised and tidy:

  • Have systems in place so that everything has its own proper place and you know where everything goes.
  • Add a pickup habit to your daily routine and put away items that don’t belong in your living room.
  • Encourage family members to put away their items when they’re finished with them.
  • Minimise the decorative items in your space if you find they just end up on the floor (such as throw pillows) or collecting dust (such as ornaments).
  • If there are certain flat surfaces that always collect clutter, consider removing them or covering them with a decorative item that can’t be used as a dumping ground (such as a vase of flowers).
  • Use small boxes and storage tubs to contain items that are often scattered around the room such as video game controllers, remote controls, and electronic cables.
Free 30 day declutter challenge

Now that you know how to declutter your living room you can enjoy spending quality time together as a family in your living space. This room is for enjoying the company of your loved ones, watching your favourite shows and relaxing, so make the most of it!

Do you have any top tips for decluttering your living room? Share in the comments below.

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EssentiallyJess

Thursday 4th of June 2015

We used to have toys in the living room, but when we moved I stopped that. We have a toy room now so it's not necessary. I hate having too much stuff in the lounge now. It's all minimalistic here.

Holly

Friday 5th of June 2015

Minimalist is so much more relaxing. My daughter is still at that age of wanting to be near but long term, our second lounge would be a perfect play room.

Mumma McD

Tuesday 2nd of June 2015

Ok Ok I am DOING this one, our living room is out of control!!! Our little terrorists have overtaken all of our adult space and I'm determined to claim it back!! This weekend is operation living room back!

Holly

Friday 5th of June 2015

Haha let me know how operation take back the living room goes! You need your adult space, after all! Good luck x

Lauren @ Create Bake Make

Tuesday 2nd of June 2015

Our living room is certainly the heart of our home and also the 'dumping ground' for many things. I am trying really hard to teach the boys (2 & 3 years old) that they need to pack away their toys before they get something new out - it's a never ending battle though!

Holly

Friday 5th of June 2015

Oh yes, I hear you! Even moving the toys out of the lounge room, they still keep coming back. Mine is a mess again today but I'm letting it slide a bit with a newborn in the house ;)

Marina

Tuesday 2nd of June 2015

My living room, well up until a month ago - it was a bedroom for one of the kids. We are about to move from this tiny house that we are busting out of YAY!!! Can't wait to get the leather recliners out of storage :) Don't think I'll move once I sit in them again! Do you have any tricks for cleaning TV screens? I use a microfibre cloth, but I'm always worried I'll damage the screen! Love your blog. Marina.

Holly

Friday 5th of June 2015

Marina, you must be so excited about having more space again. Enjoy those recliners! As far as the TV goes, we have the micro fibre cloth too but it came with a spray made for cleaning the TV. Does the job but I will admit I've only used it once lol if I come across another option, I will be sure to share though x